"A great early Victorian romance"
In 1836 England, Sophie Dane chases "freedom" when she
finally decides to leave her cruel husband to become a
companion to Honorine, as the woman travels abroad. Sophie
knows the price she will pay is a divorce from her spouse
and non-existence except in terms of gossipy scandal from
her peers. Legally not being married is simply great to
Sophie, but the Ton reaction is a high price. Still, to
the beleaguered Sophie, fleeing this marriage is worth
In 1844, Honorine decides to return to England taking
Sophie with her. Honorine cares for Lord William Hamilton,
recovering from a stroke. William's illegitimate son Caleb
has also come from the continent to help his father. Caleb
and Sophie are immediately attracted to one another, but
they first must confront, almost accost the past, if they
are to pursue a future together.
THE SECRET LOVER is first and foremost an early Victorian
romance. However, the tale contains several other elements
involving inter-family relationships, not all positive,
that make for a stronger blend than usually found within
the sub-genre. The prime characters are fully developed so
that the audience understands what drives them to risk
scandal. Romance readers will enjoy reading Julia London's
mid nineteenth century novel that has a sort of Dickens
undercoat to an already engaging tale.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted April 20, 2002
Sometimes even a lady can't resist...
Eight years after fleeing England in the wake of a terrible scandal (Ruthless Charmer), Sophie Dane is no longer the trusting debutante betrayed by love. Now, as companion to a worldly French widow, she returns to London where her arrival instantly sets tongues wagging... and attracts the roving eye of Trevor Hamilton. But it is his mysterious brother, Caleb, in whom Sophie senses a kindred soul - and who captivates her as no other man has before.
Reared on the Continent, Caleb has come home to his ailing father - only to be shunned by society as a fortune-hunting imposter. Sophie alone seems to believe in him. but an unexpected series of events sets them both in flight once more. As scandal pursues them to a remote ancestral estate, a man ad a woman haunted by the past will defy every convention on earth for a future in each other's arms...
Genre: Historical Romance, Victorian